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Old 05-09-2012, 06:04 PM   #1
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Substitute for cremini mushrooms

Hi all. I want to make a recipe for veggie burgers that is predominantly cremini mushrooms and cashews. I dislike mushrooms though and want to substitute for something else. Would zucchini be a good substitute or can you suggest anything else I might use in place of mushrooms?

Here's the ingredient list:

3/4 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3/4 cup bulgur wheat
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped fine (2 cups)
1 large celery rib, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
1 small leek, white and light green parts only, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (2 teaspoons)
1 pound cremini or white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced about 1/4 inch thick (about 6 1/2 cups)
1 cup raw unsalted cashews
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Ground black pepper

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Old 05-09-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
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Oh, I think you could just think about the texture of mushrooms once they're cooked, and select something you like that has that texture. Various other kinds of squash, maybe. More nuts, like walnuts, cooked for a while. Sweet peppers, but that kind of takes away from the meatish goal. (Although why there would be any effort to emulate meat, if you don't want to actually eat meat.)

Or just juggle some of the other ingredients and add some smaller portion of interesting things like sunchokes. Or some polenta, maybe crumbled and prefried.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:32 PM   #3
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I have substituted eggplant for mushrooms in spaghetti sauce. I have also substituted ground chick peas (obviously canned or cooked if using dry) for mushrooms in recipes.
What about some veggie protein or crumbled, firm tofu?
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #4
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Re: suggestions

Many thanks for your replies - they have really helped with some ideas and I appreciate it!
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:44 PM   #5
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I definitely would not use squash as a substitute for mushrooms. Squash have SO much natural water that I fear your mixture would turn to sloppy mush. While I realize that you don't like mushrooms, have you taken into account that with all the other ingredients in these burgers you're most likely to not even taste the mushrooms as an individual item?
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:38 PM   #6
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Just one opinion, but if you don't like the flavor of mushrooms, then I would look for another recipe, since it seems that mushrooms are an integral part of this one. As one of the previous posters mentioned, the mushrooms are what gives it a "meaty" flavor.

On the other hand, my wife hates mushrooms, but with her it's a textural issue that has nothing to do with the flavor. In her case, I can add them to veggie burgers, provided I finely mince (not mush) them in the food processor first. She doesn't complain at all about them when used this way.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:07 PM   #7
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Make up the mixture minus the 'rooms. Make two small burgers, one with finely diced 'rooms and one without. Take a taste test. The recipe the way it stands, minus the 'rooms looks like you have enough in it so that the lack of the 'rooms won't be missed. More nuts will replace the nutrition that you lose lacking the meat or mushrooms. Mushrooms are pure protein ad a vital part of a vegetarian diet.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:30 PM   #8
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mushroomns are pretty watery too.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Just one opinion, but if you don't like the flavor of mushrooms, then I would look for another recipe, since it seems that mushrooms are an integral part of this one. As one of the previous posters mentioned, the mushrooms are what gives it a "meaty" flavor.

On the other hand, my wife hates mushrooms, but with her it's a textural issue that has nothing to do with the flavor. In her case, I can add them to veggie burgers, provided I finely mince (not mush) them in the food processor first. She doesn't complain at all about them when used this way.
I would agree. My DIL claims to hate mushrooms but it must be the texture thing because I've fooled her more than once if she can't see them.

While mushrooms contain some protein, they only have 2g of protein per cup and there are certainly better protein choices if you really hate the taste.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:08 PM   #10
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Mushrooms add two things to your recipe, texture, and umami. The mushrooms have a flavor that is similar to meat. That flavor is required in your veggie burger, but yes, there are substitutions. For instance, Textured vegetable protein, hydrated with water and soy sauce, and a bit of A1 Steak sauce will enhance you burger by giving it a meaty mouth feel from the TVP, and adding the meaty flavor of the soy, steak sauce combination.

Stay away from squash, and other watery veggies as they will become mushy in texture, and not add any of the meaty flavor you are looking for.

Think of what meat tastes like. Think of what mushrooms taste like. Think of how they feel in your mouth. You have to try and simulate both the texture and some of the flavor componants for your burger.

There is a cherry festival that is held in Traverse City Michigan every year, and features burgers made from cherries. I don't know how they do it, but they taste like burgers, not cherries. you may be able to do a google-search for the recipe.

Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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